Saturday, December 3, 2011

Meet Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz...and enter a Contest.. This post is due to be live on 3rd Dec

 Rosalie, thank you for hosting me on your blog today.  I wanted to announce a contest.  Everyone who posts a comment on one of the blogs during my tour will be entered into a drawing. There will be two winners picked.  I am giving away one copy of Lady-in-Waiting and one copy of Mirror, Mirror.

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for being here today and talking about your new releases Lady in Waiting and Mirror Mirror. The premise for your romance Lady in Waiting is captivating. “Will a case of mistaken identity result in true love or execution as a traitor?” That’s already roused my interest.

Penny you are a prolific author and editor. Other than ‘author’ what are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Wife, mother, and grandmother.

Do they influence you as a writer? Or the genre you write?
Yes being who I am definitely influences me.  Because of my children and grandchildren, I’ve written a number of short children’s stories, two picture books, and two middle grade novels.  Many of the volunteer activities I took on when my children were younger gave me the background and information I needed not only for a number of non-fiction articles, but also fodder for several stories.  I probably would never write erotica because I couldn’t imagine what my children would think! LOL.
As far as my adult stories go, I would say having a wonderful husband has allowed me to create strong, healthy relationships between my male and female characters. Even when I write fantasy and science fiction, I include a touch of romance.

You write in so many genres, but today can we focus on Lady in Waiting and Mirror Mirror, these are romance titles. What is it about this genre that inspires your writing? 
I love the idea of romance.  I readily admit it’s lacking in a lot of our lives, but it’s such a feel-good emotion.  Just looking at a sunset over the ocean invokes a sense of romance for me.  Seeing a couple walking hand-in-hand down the street, or sitting close together on a park bench is inspiring. 
I was headed toward a potentially dark place when I met my husband.  He jokes that he “saved” me, and in some ways he did.  I like to set up similar situations in a lot of my romances.  I allow my characters to become enmeshed in conflicts which could bring them down, but the love of their lives helps them to find happiness.

Do you have a regime when writing? A special place, time, mood or do you snatch opportunities to pen ideas or write a few lines? 
I do not have a regime.  Since I began my writing career when my children were still young, I had to fit in snatches of writing time.  I have never been one to force myself to sit every day in front of the computer and write.  When an idea hits me, I work on it.  Sometimes I can work on the story exclusively, especially now that I’m retired.  Most times, however, I find it works better to find a few hours here or there.  I generally write while I’m in my office, which is a small room off our library area.  It has a window that looks out to my garden, my reference books close at hand, and lots of pictures of family and friends on the walls.  I like it quiet when I write, so I don’t have music playing.  My dogs are generally lying by my feet, keeping me company.  I try to keep my cat out of the office, though, as his hair is a pain when it gets in my keyboard!

Does your Muse follow rules and plot lines or does she offer ideas on a whim?
I’m a total pantser.  I don’t outline, but I do jot down notes of things like descriptions or character traits, as well as the correct spelling on a character’s name.  I often end up someplace totally different from where I thought I would be when I begin to write a story.

What are the most dramatic changes you have made to a story you have written? What prompted the change?
The most dramatic change was a story I submitted early in my career.  I sold The Camp to a magazine called Pursuit.  I had written a story about a woman who had been treated brutally and confined to a camp for people who are “different.”  When I submitted the story, the editor liked my writing, but he asked me to rewrite the story for the period after she escapes.  He wanted to know how she survived on the outside.  My first reaction was “no.”  Then, I realized he was the editor.  He knew what his readers wanted.  If I wanted to sell the story, I needed to reconsider what he was asking.  I did a total rewrite of the story, and I did sell it.

Has there been one event in your life that changed/inspired your writing career? For example, meeting an author, finding a publisher, joining a critique group?
Since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be a writer.  My father used to make up stories for us and tell them at bedtime.  I was a voracious reader, and I would entertain myself by writing stories and illustrating them.  My high school English teacher first encouraged me to seriously consider writing.  I wrote for the school fiction magazine.  After graduation, I tried to submit stories to magazines, but of course I had no idea what I was doing. I think my first submission was to a national publication, Seventeen. I was promptly rejected.  I decided I wasn’t very good after all and put off my writing career for another twenty years.  Getting involved in grant writing for non-profits was the turning point for me to take up writing again.  Fortunately, this was at a time when there was a lot more support for writers, and I was no longer working in a vacuum.

Would you like to tell us about the main character of your new releases /or the villains?  
My main characters will be making stops at some of the blogs during the tour, so I hope your readers will be following along.  The complete tour list is available on my blog and my website.

Or would you like to share an excerpt? Either or both… we are keen to learn more about the story.
“Today’s the day, Mabriona,” Princess Alana said as Mabriona entered the chambers.  She wiped tears from her eyes with an embroidered linen. “Prince Blayne will be here, and soon I’ll be his wife.  I think the worst part of being father’s daughter is marrying someone I’ve never even met.”
“You’ve always known your marriage would be arranged for the benefit of the kingdom, Princess, but I’m sure he’ll be very nice,” Mabriona replied as she opened the heavy drapes covering the windows. She looked at her cousin and sighed.  She wanted to feel sorry for Alana, but they’d had this discussion so many times. Mabriona was tired of it.  Alana had known from the time she was a child that she would not wed for love.  Why can’t Alana just accept her fate? Outside the day was as wet as the one before and the one before that.
“Nice?  Who wants nice?  I want someone handsome and dashing.  A knight in shining armor who will love me forever.  I certainly don’t want someone like my father who will make me do everything I don’t want to do.”

After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub.  A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air.  While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces.  She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.
“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub.  She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint.  While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed.  She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom.  She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.
Who is publishing your story?
Both books are being released by MuseItUp Publishing.
Where can we get this book?
Lady In Waiting released November 18th. Direct buy link is
Mirror, Mirror will release on December 30th. MuseItUp Publishing’s bookstore link is: 

While you’re there, be sure to check out the other fabulous titles available.  MuseItUp also publishes their books on a number of other sites, including Amazon and Smashwords.
How can we follow your career?
I welcome comments from readers at pennylane97053 at yahoo dot com
My author page at MuseItUp Publishing is:
Penny, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today.   
Rosalie, you asked some great questions.  I want to remind your readers to be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the final drawing.

Through a series of misunderstandings, Mabriona is forced to live a lie, but when the man she loves awakes from his coma, will she confess her deceit? 

 Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana.  When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne.
Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle.  Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain.
While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard.
When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?

 Mirror, Mirror
Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.

Lindsay Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time.  There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong. 
Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter.  Before Lindsay can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes.  Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman.
Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?

Mabriona assisted Alana down to the common dining hall as was her duty.  The big room was warmed at both ends by huge hearths.  In honor of Prince Blayne’s arrival, the boards had been scrubbed until they gleamed.  Warm, fresh-baked loaves of bread graced each table, and the delicious aroma made Mabriona’s mouth water as they entered the room.  Jars of honey mead sat within easy reach of all.  Pewter bowls piled high with fresh picked apples and pears were artfully placed. Serving wenches waited, poised, with huge pots of steaming porridge.
King Cedric already sat at the upper table with Prince Blayne at his right hand.  His face lit up with a smile when Alana and Mabriona approached.  His voice boomed as he greeted his daughter, “Here she is, the flower of my life.”
Mabriona’s breath caught in her throat as her eyes met Blayne’s.  As Alana had feared, the young prince was dark-haired with eyes the color of jet, his stature kingly.  Broad shoulders and well-muscled arms nicely filled out his deep purple brocaded doublet. A full beard of coarse black hair covered his cheeks and chin, but what stopped Mabriona was his smile.  Never before had she seen someone’s face light up like the sun rising on a summer’s morn.  Yet, this was what came to her mind.  Clearly, Blayne’s smile was meant for her, but why? 
He stood and walked toward the women.  “Princess Alana,” he said, bowing before Mabriona, his glance speaking words of heat and passion.
“Oh no, Your Highness,” Mabriona said, blushing.  “I am Princess Alana’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Mabriona.”  She felt Alana glaring daggers at her and quickly curtseyed to hide her embarrassment.  Alana made it clear earlier she wasn’t attracted to dark-haired men, why is she so angry?  It isn’t my fault the prince was confused. Alana looked down at the floor before glancing up at the handsome prince.
“Forgive me, Lady Mabriona.  I’ve made an unthinkable error.”  Prince Blayne bowed again and then turned to Alana.  “Your Highness, your beauty should have made it clear to me you are my intended.”
Mabriona’s heart sunk.  She saw Alana’s cold look as Blayne bowed and took her hand to kiss. She knew then that Alana hated him, yet Alana would marry him as her father decreed.  It was unfair, but Mabriona was already wise enough to know she couldn’t change her lot in life.  Alana would marry the handsome prince and live happily ever after, and she would remain the ever-faithful servant catering to Princess Alana’s every wish.
Blayne grasped Alana’s elbow and led her to the table to sit beside him. Yet as Mabriona watched them, Blayne’s gaze slid back to her, lingering as if he could imprint her image upon his soul.  Her knees felt weak, and Mabriona quickly took a seat at the far end of the board.  Her heart beat rapidly in her chest.  What was happening to her? Prince Blayne was not the first man to have caught her eye, yet he was certainly the first to have affected her so she could barely breathe.  Unobserved and temporarily forgotten, she watched the couple.  Just as she suspected, Alana kept her nose in the air and cringed each time Blayne looked at or touched her.  King Cedric would get an earful as soon as Alana got him alone, of that Mabriona was certain.  Her heart bled for the handsome prince.
She looked up to see Alana motioning furiously at her.  She went to the princess and bent near her.  “Yes, Princess?”
“Get me out of here, now,” Alana whispered harshly.
Mabriona offered her hand, and Alana rose from her place.  Blayne looked up, catching Mabriona’s gaze.  His eyes sparkled, and a smile spread across his face.  He bowed his head slightly.  He openly flirted with her.  This could not be happening.  If King Cedric saw the interplay, what would he think?  Blayne was the intended of Alana. Things could not get any worse.  Her thoughts tumbled like the bones the guards threw when they played at betting games. 


“Fool-born child!  Watch where you are walking. The master will have your hide for getting mud all over his clean shirts.” 
Someone pulled her ear—hard—and Lindsey yelped with pain.  She was tugged up into a kneeling, then standing position, before she opened her eyes.  She realized in the first moment she was no longer in Oregon.
“Where is your cap?  If the master sees you with your hair hanging down all over your face, he will switch us both.” 
She stared wide-eyed as a large, buxom woman bent down, picked up dirty white shirts from the ground, and thrust them into Lindsey’s arms.
“‘Tis not here. Take my extra one.”  The woman grabbed Lindsey’s hair, balled it, and shoved it into a long, sleeve-like cap, which came to Lindsey’s forehead and fell down around her shoulders.  Balancing the load of shirts with one hand, she felt the cap.  Not a shred of her hair was showing. 
“Um, thanks,” she said.
“Well, donna be thanking me now.  You just watch what you be doing next time, clumsy girl.  Now march back into the washhouse and get the mud off those shirts.  When you have finished, hang them out to dry. Then get you into the kitchen and help cook with dinner.”  The woman brushed her hands off; then she smoothed her apron and marched through a courtyard toward a large stone house.
Dumbfounded, Lindsey stood where the woman left her.  She looked down at herself and saw she still wore her second-hand clothes from St. Vincent de Paul’s.  Her feet were bare. Then she noticed the woman walking away from her was also barefooted.  Despite the muddy courtyard, the air was warm and so was the soil.  But where am I?  As she looked around, the structure of the buildings reminded her of pictures from her British History course in college.
In the opposite direction from which the woman took, Lindsey noticed a path leading to a small outbuilding.  Smoke rose from a chimney.  She trudged back to the washhouse, opened the door but stepped back outside when her eyes began to tear, and the heat blasted her face.  Do people actually work under these conditions?  With the door opened, some of the smoke and steam cleared, and she was able to see a large wooden tub sitting on metal legs straddling hot coals. Lindsey dumped the load of shirts into the tub, picked up a stick and stirred the load in the water.  Before long, her muscles ached, and she had blisters on her hands. Once the tears began, there was no stopping them.  Until this point, she hadn’t thought much beyond putting one foot in front of the other.  She collapsed on a small overturned crate and with head in hands, had a good cry.
With red, puffy eyes, and stuffed nose, Lindsey looked up when the door opened.  A wizened old woman leaning on a cane shuffled in.  She looked at Lindsey with questioning eyes.  “Is it really you, Mistress?” she asked.
“What do you mean?  Who am I supposed to be?” Lindsey responded between sobs.
The old woman began to dance.  “It worked!  It worked!”
Lindsey wiped the tears from her eyes with the bottom of her skirt.  “What worked?” she asked, realizing this woman might know what happened.
“Why the summoning I did for Mistress Prudence.  So you’re the one, eh?”  The old woman pinched Lindsey’s cheek and turned Lindsey’s face from side to side to get a good look.  “Well you do look like the young Mistress.
When are you from, then?”
“You did say when, not where?”
“Of course.  I know you’re not from now, foolish simpkin.  I brung you here.”
“This morning it was 2011.  I’m not sure what year it is now.”
“‘Tis the year 1421, and you need to get busy, little missy.  You need to get the Master to accept Prudence as his bride.  Soon as you do, we can send you back from whence you came.”
Lindsey stood and looked down at the little woman. “Just how do you propose I do that?  Who is this master, anyway?”
“Why, he be the master of the house.  He loves our Prudence, he does, but his father wants him to marry for money.  He’s just distraught our Master is.  I wager you be a smart woman. You can get our Master to marry you. I canna help you anymore, but I’ll be watching you.”  The crone turned and shuffled toward the door.

Great excerpts Penny... I am already eager to read more...Thank you for being my guest today and for your generous contest. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win!!!


gail roughton branan said...

Penny, great work on the Blog Tour! And again, both releases sound wonderful!

Janie Franz said...

It's always exciting reading about your process and your new books look exciting. The covers are amazing!

Rosalie Skinner said...

Thanks for dropping in Gail and Janie.. great to have you here today.
Penny great to have you and your books on my blog today. They look terrific.
I know I now have two more books on my to read list. :)

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Rosalie, you caught me off guard! I had it on my calendar that I was visiting you on December 3rd! Oops...I haven't been promoting this stop. Thank you for your support, though, I appreciate it.

Gail and Janie, thanks for stopping to comment.

lionmother said...

Penny, I love both of these stories! I'm not sure if I signed up to be part of your blog tour, but I wish you a lot of success!! I now want to read both of them!!

Rosalie, great post with one of my favorite writers and editors!!

Penny's Tales said...

Penny, both books sound so good. I immediately thought your writing sounded like Joanna Lindsey's writing. Congrats on both books!

Rosalie - great interview!

Thanks to both of you!

J Q Rose said...

Great interview. I love reading about my favorite people and getting insights into their world. I completely agree about writing erotica. My kids would cringe..I think I would cringe if they ever read it!! Best wishes with these two books. Fascinating premises.

Charlie said...

Fabulous interview. Can't wait to read the books. Love the medieval stories. Sigh...I'm just a damsel in distress. ha. Look forward to having you on my blog tomorrow, Penny.
C.K. Volnek

Rosalie Skinner said...

I must apologise again for posting this early Penny! I rescheduled but the post remains live.
Thanks everyone for dropping in... In reality the information stays the same and the books are just as good, a few days early. :) They have gone to the top of my to buy list...

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Rosalie, thanks for posting this again. I appreciate your ongoing support. Barbara, if you do get a chance to read these, I hope you let me know your thoughts. Penny, I've never read the author you mentioned. I'll have to check her out. Janet, thanks for stopping by. So many people read and love erotica, sometimes I wish I could write it, but I doubt I ever will. Charlie, thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed being on your blog.

Andrew Grigaliunas said...

Hello Penny!! I hope and pray that you are having a good weekend! You deserve to have the best beacuase you are the best!!

Take care!! Please enter me into your most recent giveaway!! Luv ya!!

--Drew G

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Drew, thanks for commenting. You're in the contest, as is everyone else who has commented during the blog tour.

Teresa K. said...

Penny great excerpts. I do love my fairytale stories with an adult twist. Congrats on these books

Teresa K.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great interview and excerpts. It's always interesting learning more about writers.

And, I too am influenced by my grandchildren in my children's writing.

Best wishes for a successful tour.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Teresa and Karen, thanks for stopping to comment. There's something magical about fairytales. I don't think I'll ever get too old for them!

Rochelle Weber--Author said...

I'm not normally a fan of Fantasy, but you've really piqued my interest. These books are definitely on my TBR list. ;-)


Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Rochelle, thanks for stopping by. Lady In Waiting isn't a fantasy, although it wanted to be until Madoc told me otherwise. LOL. If you get a chance to read, let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Hi Penny! Great interview. Was fun learning more about you. Enjoyed the book excerpts.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Everyone, I wanted to announce the first winner of the contest is Theresa K. I will be contacting her to let her know, she has won a copy of Lady In Waiting. Congratulations, Teresa!

Thank you everyone for stopping to comment.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Congratulations Teresa!!! What a great prize.
Thanks everyone for coming to meet Penny on my blog. I have been away for a while.. and it's great to return and meet you!
It's good to be feeling sprightly again and back on the internet.
Congratulations on your book tour Penny.